Curiosity on Mars: A lecture with NASA’s Doug Ming

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Poudre River Public Library District and The Institute for Learning and Teaching are co-sponsoring a public talk on April 26 with guest lecturer Doug Ming, chief scientist for the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This event will take place 7 – 8 p.m. in the Plant Sciences Building, room C101, at Colorado State University.

Doug Ming
Doug Ming

The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has successfully explored the Gale crater on Mars for more than three Earth years. Curiosity has discovered fine-grain sedimentary deposits that appear to have been deposited in ancient lake environments. These fine-grained sediments contain clay minerals and the elements necessary for life. The data being acquired by Curiosity will help NASA mission planners prepare for the journey of humans to the Red planet. What is the radiation environment on Mars? Will the Martian dust be toxic to humans? Are there chemicals in the Martian regolith that might be corrosive to spacecraft parts? Can we build habitat structures on the surface? Curiosity is blazing a trail for human exploration on Mars by answering these important questions.

About Ming

Doug Ming has participated on the science teams for several Mars robotic missions, including the Mars Polar Lander, Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Mars Phoenix Scout and Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity missions. He led tactical science operations for Phoenix, and he currently leads tactical science operations for Curiosity. Ming is a CSU alum. He received his bachelor of science (’79) and master of science (’81) degrees in soil science from Colorado State University.

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